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(b Bourmont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, June 7, 1732; d Paris, May 21, 1801). French impresario, singer and dramatist. He first made his name as a singer with the Opéra-Comique (after about 1758), chiefly in artisan roles; no doubt it was to exploit this special talent that he was allowed to put on an ...

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Gunter Hempel

(b Gotha, bap. Sept 12, 1753; d Leipzig, Nov 30, 1813). German composer and writer on music. Between 1777 and 1789 he was intermittently active in the Hamburg theatre, first as a singer and later as a violinist and music director. He also visited St Petersburg (...

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Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Glinno, nr Poznań, April 9, 1757; d Warsaw, July 23, 1829). Polish impresario, librettist, actor and singer. He was a central figure in the history of the Polish theatre. He studied in Kraków (1770–73), where he attended many theatrical and concert performances organized by Sierakowski, prompting him to change the direction of his career away from the army and towards the theatre. He probably completed his studies at the Piarist school in Warsaw. For a few months during ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b ? Moravia or Upper Austria, ?1740s; d Aachen, bur. Aug 7, 1792). Austrian theatre manager, actor and singer. He was engaged at Brünn (now Brno) in 1770, from the autumn of that year as director of the troupe. For long periods he toured in Austria, southern Germany and the Rhineland. In early summer ...

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(b Hlukhiv, Ukraine, 1751; d St Petersburg, 28 Sept/Oct 10, 1825). Ukrainian composer, singer and music director, active in Russia. He began his musical training early, possibly at the Hlukhiv choir school, and in 1758 went to sing in the Russian imperial court chapel in St Petersburg, where he became one of Empress Elizabeth's favourite choirboys. Singled out for his unusual talent, he was trained in opera and eventually performed major roles in court productions: in ...

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Alice B. Belgray and Newell Jenkins

(b ?Fano, 1744; d Colmenar de Orejo, nr Madrid, Dec 16, 1798). Italian composer, violinist and orchestra director, active in Spain. The son of Stefano Brunetti (of Fano) and Vittoria Perusini, he probably studied the violin in Livorno with Pietro Nardini. Having moved with his parents to Madrid by ...

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(b Montaigut-sur-Save, Jan 26, 1700; d Paris, May 3, 1788). French concert entrepreneur and cellist. He served as basse du grand choeur in the Paris Opéra orchestra from 1736 to 1755. That he played the cello, rather than the basse de viole, is implied by Corrette in ...

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Nancy Joyce Cooper and Jan Walters

( b Florence, 1759/60; d Lodi, Jan 5, 1838). English musician and painter , mainly active in Italy. Her parents managed several inns in Florence for the English on the Grand Tour. She was elected to the Florentine Accademia del Disegno at the age of 18. In ...

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Michael A. Keller and Elisabeth Cook

(b Moulins, Oct 3, 1713; d Lyons, Feb 11, 1797). French composer, violinist and administrator. His father, Jacques Dauvergne, was a musician and probably his first teacher. Antoine began his career as a violinist in Moulins and Clermont-Ferrand before moving to Paris in the late 1730s. According to Pierre de Bernis, he studied composition with Rameau (not with Leclair, as stated by La Laurencie and Pincherle). In ...

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Elizabeth Gibson and Curtis Price

(b Florence, Jan 7, 1728; d London, Jan 5, 1805). Italian dancer, choreographer and impresario. He moved to Paris and, according to Antoine de Léris (Dictionnaire portatif des théâtres, 1754), was a member of the Académie Royale de Musique company until at least ...

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Robert D. Hume

(b Hereford, Feb 19, 1717; d London, Jan 20, 1779). English actor, manager and playwright. He was the greatest Shakespearean actor of the mid-18th century and an influential manager of Drury Lane from 1747 to his retirement in 1776. He was also knowledgeable about ballet and opera. In ...

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James R. Hines, Barbara Turchin and Nicholas Michael Butler

(b Hesse-Kassel, Germany, c1786; d New York, NY, July 30, 1829). American theater manager, pianist, organist, composer, and music publisher of German birth. He moved to the United States at the end of the 18th century and was probably related to the musician George Gilfert who was in New York as early at ...

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Helmut Kallmann

(b Hanover, Aug 10, 1759; d Quebec, 12/Jan 13, 1836). Canadian musician of German birth. The son of a military band musician, he is reported to have been a violin prodigy. In 1777 he enlisted in one of the Brunswick regiments destined for Canada. Discharged in ...

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(b Berlin, 30 Nov ?1746 [or 1743/4]; d Hanover, May 20, 1796). German actor, manager, dramatist and librettist. While in the Prussian civil service at Danzig he was offered the chance of standing in for a member of Abel Seyler's company at Gotha in ...

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August Scharnagl and Josef Focht

(b Altötting, Jan 11, 1727; d Passau, April 23, 1812). German Kapellmeister, violinist and composer. His grandfather Philipp Haindl (d c1681) was a choral director at Ebersberg (near Munich), and his father Johann Sebastian Haindl (1645–1732) was a choirboy at Munich Cathedral, a singer in the Damenstift at Hall, and the choral director at Altötting (...

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Robert N. Freeman

(b Reyersdorf, Lower Austria, Oct 27, 1748; d Leesdorf, nr Baden, Sept 10, 1826). Austrian music director, botanist, violinist and organist. He was a choirboy in Nikolsburg (now Mikulov, Czech Republic) before entering Melk Abbey as a novice in 1766. He was ordained in ...

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Susan L. Porter

(b nr Manchester, England, cJune 7, 1765; d nr Bladensburg, MD, Sept 12, 1805). Actor, singer, and theatrical manager of English birth. He began his career in 1782 with the Tate Wilkinson troupe in York; by 1790 he was playing leading roles in tragedy, comedy, and comic opera at the major English provincial theaters. He made his debut in the United States on ...

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(b Vienna, Feb 22, 1717; d Vienna, Feb 3, 1784). Austrian comic actor, singer, dramatist and theatre manager. The son of the actor-manager Felix Kurz, and godson of ‘Hanswurst’ Stranitzky and J.B. Hilverding, he grew up in the theatre, and by the age of 20 he was performing leading roles with the German troupe at Vienna's Kärntnertortheater under the direction of Stranitzky's successor, Gottfried Prehauser. From ...

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Georg Karstädt

(b Rambouillers, nr Nancy, 1756; d Lübeck, June 18, 1806). French violinist, composer and music dealer, active in Germany. He first studied the violin and composition with Joseph-Antoine Lorenziti, maître de chapelle at Nancy Cathedral. From 1780 to 1792 Lacroix lived in Paris where he achieved considerable fame as a violin virtuoso and published his ...

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Brian Boydell

(b ?Dublin; d Dublin, Feb 21, 1776). Irish publisher, music seller and violinist. He was one of the most prominent and active musicians in Dublin during the 1750s and 60s. In 1745 he was admitted to the City Music, of which he was appointed bandmaster in ...